The High Desert Museum to begin accepting applications for the 2022 Waterston Desert Writing Prize


BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – The High Desert Museum will begin accepting nominations for the 2022 Waterston Desert Writing Prize on Saturday, January 1.

The ninth annual award honors literary non-fiction that exemplifies artistic excellence, sensitivity to place, and desert literacy with the desert as the subject and setting. Early, mid-career and established writers are welcome to apply.

The price has risen to $ 3,000 this year. The winner will also be presented at a reception and awards ceremony at the Bend Museum in September 2022.

Inspired by author and poet Ellen Waterston’s love for the High Desert, a region that has been her muse for over 30 years, the award recognizes the vital role that deserts play in the world in ecosystem and storytelling. human. In 2020, the High Desert Museum, which has long hosted events for the Prize, adopted the program.

“The literary arts provide such a dynamic way to explore the depth and complexity of deserts,” said museum executive director Dana Whitelaw, Ph.D. “And since its inception, the Waterston Desert Awards Writing Prize has been one of the Museum’s favorite events. We are delighted to have news from writers near and far in 2022. ”

The 2021 Waterston Desert Writing Award winner was Ceal Klingler ( for “How we live with each other”. Klingler’s submission explained how animals, plants, and other organisms created habitable places with each other on the fringes of heat, cold, dehydration, flooding and fires at the westernmost overlap. of the Mojave and Grand Bassin deserts.

The 2021 finalists were Charles Hood ( for “Deserts After Dark” and Joe Wilkins for “Desert Reckoning” (joewilkins.organization).

To learn more about the Waterston Desert Writing Prize and how to submit an entry, visit Submissions will be accepted until Sunday, May 1 at 11:59 p.m.

The High Desert Museum is also excited to announce the return of the Waterston Student Essay Competition, open to young writers from Crook, Deschutes, Harney, Jefferson and Lake counties. It is open to students in grades 9 to 12, in a public or private school, or at home. The submission is free. Students may submit 750-1,000 word non-fiction prose essays to [email protected] from January 1, 2022 to May 1, 2022. Submissions will be judged on originality, clarity of expression, accuracy and their contribution to the understanding and appreciation of desert regions.

To learn more about the Waterston Student Essay Competition and how to submit an entry, visit


THE HIGH DESERT MUSEUM opened in Bend, Oregon in 1982. It brings together wildlife, cultures, art, history and the natural world to convey the wonders of the high desert of North America. The museum is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, is an affiliate of the Smithsonian, is the 2019 recipient of the Western Museums Association’s Charles Redd Award for Excellence in exhibition and is a 2021 recipient of the National Museum and Library Service Medal. To find out more, visit and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


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